Microemulsion-Assisted Synthesis of Mesoporous Aluminum Oxyhydroxide Nanoflakes for Efficient Removal of Gaseous Formaldehyde


Mesoporous aluminum oxyhydroxides composed of nanoflakes were prepared via a water-in-oil microemulsion-assisted hydrothermal process at 50 °C using aluminum salts as precursors and ammonium hydroxide as a precipitating agent. The microstructure, morphology, and textural properties of the as-prepared materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nitrogen adsorption, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) techniques. It is shown that the aluminum oxyhydroxide nanostructures studied are effective adsorbents for removal of formaldehyde (HCHO) at ambient temperature, due to the abundance of surface hydroxyl groups, large specific surface area, and suitable pore size. Also, the type of aluminum precursor was essential for the microstructure formation and adsorption performance of the resulting materials. Namely, the sample prepared from aluminum sulfate (Al-s) exhibited a relatively high HCHO adsorption capacity in the first run, while the samples obtained from aluminum nitrate (Al-n) and chloride (Al-c) exhibited high adsorption capacity and relatively stable recyclability. A combination of high surface area and strong surface affinity of the prepared aluminum oxyhydroxide make this material a promising HCHO adsorbent for indoor air purification

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